Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr thinks Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks “broke the code” when he dangerously fouled Gary Payton II in midair.
Tuesday night’s Western Conference Semifinals game between the Warriors and Grizzlies was marred by an early and decidedly ugly foul.
In the first quarter, Dillon Brooks dangerously took out Gary Payton II while he was in midair. The Golden State guard fell hard to the floor, fracturing his elbow in the process. Brooks was ejected for a Flagrant 2 offense.
The foul had everyone in the NBA talking, most feeling Brooks was extremely out of line, except for Skip Bayless who inexplicably argued against the ejection.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr made his feelings on the incident very clear after the game.
Steve Kerr doesn’t mince words, says Dillon Brooks ‘broke the code’
“I don’t know if it was intentional but it was dirty,” Kerr said, pointing out how playoff basketball is physical but that players know not to put another’s career at risk by taking him out while he’s vulnerable in midair.
“He broke the code. Dillon Brooks broke the code. That’s how I see it,” he said.
Kerr also talked about Payton’s journey to carve out a place in the NBA and how the playoffs should have been a special moment for him. Instead, he’s been taken out of the competition by a foul that should never have been committed.
Payton averaged a career-best 7.1 points in 17.6 minutes per game, adding 3.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals while on the court. In his first playoffs, he averaged 6.1 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 0.9 steals.
The NBA will have to determine if Brooks will face more punishment than just the ejection. While the Warriors have been forceful in their response to Brooks’ actions, a suspension is not certain.